A day of celebration for the people of France horribly turned into one of mourning as a truck ploughed into a crowd watching a Bastille Day fireworks display in Nice, killing at least 84 in what President Francois Hollande on Friday called a “terrorist” attack.
If you have loved ones in France and have not been able to contact them so far, you can now call into France for free, thanks to Google.
In the wake of the Nice attack, Google announced that it will allow users to dial into France without charge via Hangouts, Google Voice and Project Fi from anywhere in the world, where these services are supported.
“To help people stay informed and connected with their loved ones, we’re making calls to France from Hangouts, Google Voice and Project Fi, free — from anywhere in the world those services are supported,” the search-engine giant announced.
You can make calls on your smartphone with the Hangouts Android or iPhone app, or your computer at hangouts.google.com or via Gmail. You will need a Google account to access the service.
Additionally, for those in and around Nice, it has published a Google Now card with critical updates from French authorities, and it will continue to be updated as new information becomes available.
There was a sense of deja vu in France as the visibly moved French President Francois Hollande took to the airwaves to address a nation once again in mourning. If confirmed as an act of terror, the incident will be the third major attack on French soil in 18 months — with several smaller-scale militant killings also having taken place.
While no group has claimed responsibility for the attack in the resort city, Hollande vowed to strengthen his country’s role in the fight against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.
“Nothing will make us yield in our will to fight terrorism. We will further strengthen our actions in Iraq and in Syria. We will continue striking those who attack us on our own soil,” he said, in reference to the IS group.
Hollande said several children were among the dead after the attack, which he said was of an “undeniable terrorist nature”.
He vowed ever stronger security measures — calling up reservists and extending a state of emergency — as he reached for familiar, and new words to boost the morale of a battered nation.
“France is horrified by what has happened, this monstrosity which is using a truck to deliberately kill dozens of people who simply came to celebrate July 14. France was struck on its national day, a symbol of freedom,” said Hollande.
France “will always be stronger, I promise you, than the fanatics that want to strike it.”